Council Cash to Support Homeless

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Housing, Local plan / planning our future, Planning, Residents, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

A scheme that has helped over 200 families rent a home in the private sector is to be boosted with more money. Epping Forest District Council will pass the full benefit of a £7,500 Government grant to Epping Forest Housing Aid, enabling the local charity to guarantee more rent deposits on behalf of local people. The Council is also extending the value of underwriting Epping Forest Housing Aid`s guarantees from £40,000 to £60,000. Together, the measure will allow more local people to take the first steps to renting a new home. Twenty families are expected to benefit almost immediately.

In a separate move, the Cabinet of Epping Forest District Council also authorised the provision of £47,500 to provide small interest-free loans to residents who might otherwise be in danger of losing their homes due to the economic downturn. Loans of between £1,000 and £3,000 are envisaged although Government guidance allows for loans of up to £5,000 under the scheme.

Nazeing Playground

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Democracy, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

The sun came out to shine on Thursday 16 July 2009 as children from Nazeing celebrated the opening of their new £50,000 playground with Councillor Penny Smith, the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council. The new facilities at Hoe Lane are a collaborative venture between Epping Forest District Council and Nazeing Parish Council, using money from the Big Lottery Children`s Play Programme Fund.

After the official ribbon cutting with Madison Lang, Tyree Zengini, Josh and Freya Lock, Councillor Smith helped to test the new roundabout and climbing frames. She could then not resist joining the older children for some shots with the new basketball hoop.

Councillor Smith congratulated everyone involved in the project including local children and parents involved in the design consultation and Council staff from Community Development and Housing. Asking the children if they liked their new playground, she was rewarded with cheers of agreement.

Nazeing is one of three areas to benefit from improvement to playgrounds by Epping Forest District Council using £243,000 of Big Lottery funding. After spending more time with 12 year-old Keiran Poonwassie and his friends at the basketball hoop, Councillor Smith headed to St Giles` Church Hall where local people were meeting to discuss plans for another playground at Elizabeth Close in Nazeing.

Crucial Crew Pupils Learn Personal Safety

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Residents, Your community, Your council, Your home

Over 1,300 pupils visited Gilwell Park in Chingford from Monday 8 June to Friday 19 June 2009 to take part in the annual Crucial Crew event.

Crucial Crew is an interactive safety initiative based around key life skills that target 10 to 11 year old children. Crucial Crew teaches children how to tackle the dangers they may encounter in everyday life and helps prevent them, in a very interactive way, becoming involved in crime.

Pupils were taught how put somebody in the recovery position

It is designed to help the children to cope with dangerous situations, accept responsibility for their own safety, learn social responsibility and make sensible decisions based on acquired knowledge.

Pupils shown a mock up of a road accident involving a young cyclist

    Crucial Crew is based very firmly on four principles:

  • Children learn by doing
  • Crime prevention and personal safety education can be challenging and exciting
  • Everyone is concerned about crime prevention and personal safety
  • The most effective way of tackling the problem is a partnership approach

Chairman Penny Smith with Crucial Crew 2009 staff

Superintendent Simon Williams, Essex Police said: “Crucial Crew is a fun way to prepare children to remain safe in a variety of emergency situations and to be aware of dangers they are likely to encounter as they advance through life. Messages are conveyed through interactive role play allowing children to react to the problems they encounter and to learn how to make the correct choices about their personal safety.

Pupils shown the importance of recyclingThis year children each received a copy of our new personal safety workbook with further information and advice on dealing with dangerous situations and how to make positive choices regarding behaviour. The publication, with an introduction by John Gilbert, Chair of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership, complements the Crucial Crew experience and will act as both a classroom and family resource.

David J Bailey, Head Teacher at Stapleford Abbotts Primary School said: “Pupils and teachers both found Crucial Crew to be an exciting and informative event. It raised issues around crime prevention and personal safety that schools find difficult to address in the classroom. The feedback from pupils who attended was extremely positive and I hope that all the children take on board the importance of personal safety.”

Debbie Towns from the All Ways Educating said: They all really enjoyed the way the scenarios were presented and they have discussed it at length ever since! All parents and children were extremely impressed at how well organised the session was.

James from All Ways Educating wrote: Dear Crucial Crew, I learnt very much including how to put somebody in the recovery position, how to avoid peer pressure and many more interesting things to do. I enjoyed it very much and I hope you can do this again.

Sally Smalley from All Ways Educating wrote: My boys were buzzing when they came out of Crucial Crew this morning. They were really impacted by it and keep mentioning things they had learnt. They particularly liked the discussion on bullying as they have experienced this and were glad to hear they did the right thing.

Chairman’s Golf Day Raises Money for Charity

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Your community, Your council

Chairman Penny Smith thanked all involved for taking part

Golfers raised close to £600 for charity in the annual Chairman`s Charity Golf Day on Tuesday 16 June 2009 at Chigwell Golf Club. Twenty-one golfers comprising of Councillors, Officers and Guests of the Chairman of Council, Councillor Penny Smith took to the fairways to raise money for the Epping Forest branch of the Alzheimer`s Society, the Chairman`s chosen charity for 2009 to 2010.

The winner and champion golfer for 2009 with a score of 34 points was David Clifton from the Housing Directorate.

He received the much coveted Don Spinks Shield. Both Councillor Anthony Watts and former EFDC employee Trevor Johnson scored 33 points with Trevor Johnson declared as runner-up on the count-back rule.

Wendy Macleod from Democratic Services won the Robert O`Mallby Cup for ladies golfers with a score of 31 points, followed by the winner of the Longest Drive competition, Julie Chandler from the Office of the Deputy Chief Executive, with a score of 28 points.

Chairman Penny Smith and champion golfer for 2009, David CliftonChairman Penny Smith and the Robert O Mallby Cup for ladies golfers winner, Wendy Macleod

Nearest the Pin prize was awarded to Councillor Ricki Gadsby and Ron Sutcliffe won the award for being the highest placed Guest of the Chairman. Former Council employee Bill Brooks scored 32 points with Council Officers Tony Cooper also scoring 32 points and both James Warwick and Gary Woodhall scoring 31 points.

The Chairman of Council, Councillor Penny Smith provided strawberries and lemonade to contestants from the hut on the 9th green at the halfway stage.

Chairman of Council Councillor Penny Smith thanked all those involved for taking part and raising £568.67 for her nominated charity.

Land Army Girls Honoured

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Former Chairman Cllr John Knapman thanked the Land Girls on behalf of the District

Over thirty surviving `Land Girls` who toiled on the Home Front to provide food for Britain were officially honoured at a reception host by Epping Forest District Council at Theydon Bois Village Hall.

Official recognition of their role has been woefully late in coming. When the Women`s Land Army was disbanded in 1950 the members were shabbily treated, receiving neither medals nor gratuities, and being required to return most of their uniforms.

It was not until the new millennium that members of the Women`s Land Army and Women`s Timber Corps were allowed to join the annual Remembrance Day march in London to the Cenotaph, despite the fact that other national service organisations had for some time been part of the parade.

Chairman Cllr Penny Smith listens to stories of happy memories and comradeship

It took a further eight years of pressure before the British Government agreed to officially recognise the efforts of Land Girls in 2008 and award a specially designed badge to commemorate their service.

The badge has been specially designed by the Garter King at Arms and bears the Royal Crown. It shows a gold wheat sheaf on a white background surrounded by a circlet of pine branches and pine cones to indicate the work of both the Land Army and the Timber Corps.

Each `Land Girl` was represented with her official badge and a specially designed certificate by former Chairman of Council, Councillor John Knapman and the Deputy Lieutenant of Essex, Michael Chapman.

Former Chairman Cllr John Knapman enjoys a cup of tea with the Land Girls

The afternoon reception was a very happy occasion with many of the guests getting a chance to recall their wartime memories with fellow `Land Girls`, of whom many are now over 80 years of age. Stories told were of the incredibly hard work, long hours and even some of romance. But overwhelmingly it was a time of happy memories and comradeship.

Following the presentations Florence Harrison 86 from Theydon Bois said I`m very proud to be given this medal, although I didn`t think about what I was doing at the time. We just got on with it and had a thoroughly enjoyable time – just like this afternoon`.

A full list of the Epping Forest District Land Girls who received an official badge is listed below with links to photographs of those who attended the reception.

Susanna Andrewes Ivy Grant Christine Rumball
Frances Astrella Lillian Griffiths Muriel Rush
Marjorie Bird Joan Hammond Doris Sage
Evelyn Bolden Dorothy Harris Margaret Saggers
M P Butcher Florence Harrison Rosetta Saville
Edna Campion Queenie Harvey Doris Seaman
Doreen Childs Betty Holland Joan Sleet
Joan Cloughton Sheila Horsham W M Smith
Sylvia Cole Constance Jackson Myrtle Stallan
Frances Cray Gladys Kempton Margaret Starling
Elsie Dearson Phyllis Kennerley Sylvia Studwick
Irene Edwards Kathleen Knott Mary Trower
Amy Eldridge Rita Lea Lilian Twaites
Joan Everett Jenny Lowe Violet Webb
Lilian Fensom Joan Lynes Barbara Williams
Doreen Fitzpatrick Constance McPhail Rita Williams
Ivy Gaze Jean Ann Murray Joan Wood
Mollie Gingell Joyce Pollard Jessie Wood
Bessie Goss Gwendoline Rae Marcia Wood
Jane Gottschalk Flora Rideout

Epping Parking Review

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Planning, Residents, Travel, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Epping Parking Review

A three week consultation period ending on 3 July 2009 has been undertaken as part of a review into the Epping Parking Scheme which was implemented in August 2007.

Essex County Council issued a consultation letter to residents and businesses in the Epping Forest District on behalf on Epping Forest District Council to review the Scheme.

    Full details can be found on the Essex County Council website.

Gambling Act Consultation on Statement of Principles

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Residents, Your community, Your council

Under the Gambling Act 2005 Epping Forest District Council has a duty to undertake a review of its existing Gambling Policy every three years. The current Statement of Principles was adopted in 2006 and we are now undertaking a consultation prior to the review of its policy.

We welcome your views on the above Statement of Principles. Please click on the below ‘Consultation on the Gambling Statement of Principles’ link to complete a short questionnaire.

 

New ‘Slimmed-Down’ Cabinet Meets

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Parking, Recycling and waste, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

News and video from the first Cabinet meeting of the new Council year including the announcement of the new slimmed-down Cabinet, parking on Council estates and recycling among others.

New Cabinet

Business resumed for District Councillors at the Cabinet meeting of Epping Forest District Council on Monday 8 June 2009 following last week`s County and European Elections. It was the first meeting of the new slimmed-down Cabinet following its reduction from nine to eight members at the Annual Council meeting in May.

    The new Cabinet comprises:

  • Councillor Di Collins – Leader of the Council
  • Councillor Chris Whitbread – Finance and Economic Development
  • Councillor Richard Bassett – Performance Management
  • Councillor Mitch Cohen – Legal and Estates
  • Councillor Heather Harding – Leisure and Wellbeing
  • Councillor Mary Sartin – Environment
  • Councillor David Stallan – Housing
  • Councillor Syd Stavrou – Community Safety and Transport

Councillor Mitch Cohen briefed members on the impact of the recession on local businesses following a meeting with business tenants. Epping Forest District Council is taking steps to assist local businesses. Councillor Richard Morgan, Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny briefly outlined the latest work of his committee including public consultation on the format of the Forester and local calls for free Tube travel into London for residents of pensionable age.

Cabinet went on to discuss the issue of free Tube travel with members expressing concern about the potential cost to the Council. Councillor Richard Bassett, Performance Management Portfolio Holder listened to the views of councillors. While free travel proved not to be a viable option, Councillor Bassett noted that older residents could still travel very cheaply using the Oyster Card and gave a commitment to publicise it within the Forester.

Church Hill Car Park

A proposal by Councillor Mitch Cohen, Legal and Estates Portfolio Holder to market Church Hill Car Park, Loughton for retail development was agreed. Councillor Cohen received approval to market the site for freehold sale or long lease agreement and report back to Cabinet on the outcome. Affordable housing could be incorporated into a scheme.

Parking on Council Estates

Cabinet endorsed a flexible approach to tackling unauthorised parking on its housing estates. Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder received support for enforcement on an ad hoc basis in conjunction with local consultation and good management of parking areas. Where problems persisted and local residents complained, methods of controlling unauthorised parking could include the installation of jockey rails and shrubs.

Recycling

Extension of door step recycling collection services has led to a decline in use of local recycling points. Cabinet agreed to remove 26 local points saving £10,000 a year but to retain 21 District Recycling Centres. Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Mary Sartin indicated that some of the savings could be used to extend textile recycling.

In response to a question, Councillor Sartin confirmed that recycling services are being extended to households living in flats.

Councillor Penny Smith Elected as New Chairman

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Leader, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Council has elected Councillor Penny Smith, ward member for Broadley Common, Epping Upland and Nazeing, as its new Chairman. The Annual Meeting of Epping Forest District Council began with outgoing Council Chairman, Councillor John Knapman thanking Councillors and staff for all their support during his year of office. He announced that he had raised more than £40,000 for his Chairman`s Charities. He concluded by thanking his wife Debbie and Vice-Chairman Councillor Penny Smith for all their support.

Councillor Di Collins, Leader of Council led praise for Councillor Knapman. Her comments were echoed by Liberal Democrat Group Leader Jon Whitehouse and BNP Group Leader Pat Richardson.

Councillor Knapman added that he was very proud of the Council and its Members. Following an invitation for nominations, Councillors Di Collins and Stephen Murray proposed Councillor Penny Smith as the new Chairman of Council, describing her fairness, competence and respect across the Council. Councillors unanimously agreed.

New Chairman Penny Smith signs the Declaration of Acceptance of Office, counter signed by Peter Haywood

New Chairman Penny Smith receives the Chain of Office from outgoing Chairman John Knapman

Councillor Smith thanked Members for the honour and announced that the Alzheimer`s West Essex Branch, based in Waltham Abbey which operates across the District will be the Chairman`s Charity for the forthcoming year. She asked Members to continue to provide the levels of support enjoyed by Councillor Knapman. One of her first fund-raising events will be the Annual Members and Officers Golf Day at Chigwell Golf Club on Tuesday 16 June. Not being a golfer, Councillor Smith will be offering her services as a Caddy for the day.

Councillor Smith invited nominations for Vice-Chairman. Councillor David Stallan proposed his Cabinet and North Weald colleague, Councillor Anne Grigg, seconded by Councillor Brian Rolfe. Mrs Grigg accepted the nomination, promising to serve with integrity and enthusiasm.

Anne Grigg was appointed Vice-Chairman

Councillors then moved to the appointment of the new Leader, Cabinet and Committee appointments.

Councillor Di Collins was re-elected as Council Leader and Chairman of the Cabinet. The Cabinet has been reduced from nine members to eight following the appointment of former Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder Councillor Anne Grigg as Vice-Chairman.

Cabinet Members

Leader – Councillor Di Collins
Finance and Economic Development – Councillor Chris Whitbread
Leisure and Wellbeing – Councillor Heather Harding
Community Safety and Transport – Councillor Syd Stavrou
Performance Management – Councillor Richard Bassett
Environment – Councillor Mary Sartin
Housing – Councillor David Stallan
Legal and Estates – Councillor Mitch Cohen

Councillor Richard Morgan was re-elected Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Brian Sandler will continue to Chair meetings of the District Development Control Committee. Councillor Richard Bassett became the first Chairman of the new Local Highways Panel.

Election Nominations Confirmed

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Elections, Older people, Residents, Your community, Your council

Nominations have been confirmed for the combined European Parliamentary elections and the Epping Forest District County Council elections to be held on Thursday 4 June 2009.

On the same date by-elections for a District Councillor for the Waltham Abbey Honey Lane Ward and a Parish councillor for the Buckhurst Hill East Ward will also be held.

    Click on the links below for a list of the persons nominated for the 4 June 2009 elections.

  • European Parliamentary elections for the Eastern Region statement of persons nominated pdf (58 KB)

    (Pdf provided by Huntingdonshire District Council)

  • County Council elections statement of persons nominated pdf (540 KB)
  • District Council by-election statement of persons nominated pdf (69 KB)
  • Parish Council by-election statement of persons nominated pdf (66 KB)

The deadline for the withdrawal of candidates is noon on Tuesday 12 May 2009.